Twitch, Physical Prototypin n more

For the holiday (gobble gobble) I had a decent time.

Played Five Tribes w/my Roomie.  I forget how much I love that game.  It’s just so… good.  Not too complex, but plenty of “interesting decisions” as it were.

Speaking of Sid Meier (or was that Wil Wright?).. Anyways, Steam Sale – picked up Civ 5, Biohazard 4… and a few other titles that looked good.

Started streaming on Twitch a little small streams to test for now.  nothing fancy, just me being me over the gameplay while playing.  Still getting the hang of it.

In the meantime, I grabbed my printed pieces for graffiti royale and glued one sheet to board, and cut that out, need to finish cutting the tiles.  ugh, so hard to do a nice proper clean cut job on foam core w/o util knife.  But it’s finally a start on a physical prototype for playtesting.  Woot!

Grafitti Royale & F# & More

Well, last week, return to the cold weather, recovering from the cold and a sore back for the first part of the week and finally getting to a warmer day today, and wanting to get back “in the swing” as it were, I asked my roomies if they wanted to play a game or two.

We played Flag Dash, designed by one of Madison’s native talents.  It was a decent game once we got the general rules down, though I think having to wait to play does change the board a bit so it’s hard to have a perfect plan in motion.  Though I won, so I’m not complaining 😉

One issue I had is the general wordiness of the rule book (I should talk, right?) I’d kinda skim-read it a couple times, sat down and read most of it the other and my roomie read as we went along and I guided questions about specifics I remembered.  There were still details we weren’t sure of, but for the most part it worked.

I agree with my roomie that instead of player colors the team colors should have been used.  I suppose a “hat” could have been placed on for the colors of the players.

Anyways, then we played 7 Wonders and I lost as expected.  It’s been ages, but was fun to dig it out again.  I forgot how much I love it.

Then I wanted to show off the basic concept of Graffiti Royale to them, so I dug out the board, the small tiles I cut out (finally the right size!) Only one set, but it was just to give a basic idea of what I was thinking.  Showed them how the artist/worker placement would work, the basic “market” the layout of the tiles, the scoring concept, the penalties for getting “busted” and the Infamy for the one who was most busted showing that conflict and drive to punish your enemy, but not so much as to drive them to receiving benefits.

I actually had a good feel for it, and feel a lot more inspired on this than Quartiles, which I feel guilty about not doing more on.  So I should really get my ass to focus on that again.  It’s really just needing to get a few more powers that are simple to use but unique, and I’m struggling to find some ideas. Probably need to brainstorm.

The last bit is F#.  I’ve not programmed in a while and I’m curious about trying a functional language.  I’ve done very minimal “Hello World” type stuff in the Racket interpreter, for example.  Or Haskell.  And since I have used C# and know a very little of some of the concept of the CLI (Common Language Infrastructure – not the Command Line Interface), that it might be fun to try F#.

Further since F# seems somewhat lightweight/scripty, I though it’d be nice to use it with a code editor instead of Visual Studio.  There’s a plugin for Atom/VSCode called Ionide, so I tried to install that and after struggling to get it working, found a page on MS’s site that explained the setup better.  Ionide’s instructions already assume you know how to setup F# projects and such.

So, as with any language I’ve used apart from Basic, Turbo-Pascal and Logo, dealing with tooling setup and understanding that is the most pain in the ass of all of it.

Unlike Python and Java, dealing w/path variables was fairly painless (though part of that is how Win10 does the path now, with a nice UI that splits the paths into a list, instead of the string of ‘;’ delimited paths).

But what threw me for a loop was the Project Setup.  I couldn’t just say open an F# file and try to compile it (in Code) or run it in an interpreter, it kept giving me errors about something not being found, so I installed/uninstalled packages (Paket & Fake), nothing.  Finally I hit that MS website post with the instructions and setup a full project and BAM!  It compiled.

I know the FSI can run a script, so I should probably just invoke it that way if I want fast scripting/testing.  But goddamned, I really was hoping VS Code/ionide could give that experience without having to build a whole project infrastructure.

Quartiles, Graffiti Royale & Andromeda’s Got Mutant

Hi neglected page.  Ever since I got my job in March I haven’t had much time to update you, as I’ve been busy hooking people up with Triple Plays and 300/300 mbps intertubez.

Anyways, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on projects, I most assuredly have.  Not as frequently as I used to, but slow and steady progress.

My current main focus is a game I’m calling Quartiles.  It’s a board game using a tile placement and set collecting mechanic. After a quick prototype play session I felt good enough that I worked more and sent a pre-alpha prototype to The Game Crafter.  Further testing let me arrive at a theme:  School.  Chalkboard, papers, grades… The name Quartiles lends itself to that.  Here’s a couple pics of the prototype:

I used Nandeck to create them – first time using Nandeck.  A little funky to use, especially w/more advanced scripting, I just had a basic script for these first two pics.  Using that theme concept, I redid the art for the tiles, using a “chalk” art design and a blackboard style background.  The cards will eventually look like notebook paper, and the top portion will look like hand writing for the set (2 2 2 2 in the picture below) and the “grade” (50) will be in red to look like a graded piece of homework.  The bottom half represents powers and abilities you can spend your “extra credit” points on.  I have a lot of playtesting and revamping to do on this.  But even on the first playtest I felt pleased enough at how it turned out that I think has a lot of potential for a simple set collecting game.

I already have an “expansion” planned (probably will just be more cards with the base game) but it would be called Advanced Placement.  And the idea for that would be that you’ll have to fill in the blanks of equations using the numbers you collect.  So instead of just a set, you’ll have to MATH in order to get points.  I might even have “levels” for the Advanced Placement so you could have simple add/subtract for younger kids, but then mult/divide for older kids and maybe some really out there stuff to allow for people to make their own equations:
Tier 1: _ + _ = 4
Tier 2: _ * _ = 6

Tier 3: _ + _ – _ = _

Where you could create your own combinations/sets in tier three.
I’m thinking you could really do super easy “preschool” type games where kids just try to collect a set of numbers and for every set they get a card, and whoever gets the most cards wins or something.  So they don’t have to deal with a number like 50 or dealing with more complex things.

I’m also working on the Graffiti game (previously called “Paint the Town” I’m now thinking of calling it Graffiti Royale (to play with the theme of players competing to become the royalty (kings/queens, etc…) of a city (King/Queen being a term of art in the graffiti world.).

And my 3rd idea that I’m excited about is a game based upon creating mutants.  A sort of talent/dog show, and I call it “Andromeda’s Got Mutant”.

Finally –  here’s the script I used to make the blackboard style square in Nandeck: